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Nervous about divorce mediation? Follow these 3 steps

As your divorce becomes more imminent, you might be stressed about court room battles and unaffordable legal expenses. These are common reasons some divorcing couples choose mediation or collaborative divorce. These alternatives to litigation can help you save money and keep your sanity intact.

Even if you know these benefits, you might still be nervous about attending a mediation session for the first time. Before you begin, here are some important things you can to do get ready for mediation. 

1. Gather important documents

Michael Kay, a Certified Financial Planner and Forbes contributor, notes that you will discuss property division, child support, alimony, custody and taxes during mediation. Because of this, you should prepare a list of all your assets and debts. This may include details about real estate, vehicles, businesses, stocks, retirement funds, credit card balances and bank account balances.

2. Control your emotions

The purpose of mediation is to negotiate a fair settlement. Heated emotions will hinder this process. While it is understandable for you to feel anger, sadness and bitterness, try to leave them at the door. You do not want to say hurtful words to the other party because it will only prolong the process. Ask for support from family and friends, go to therapy or do some yoga before your session begins so you can be composed. 

3. Be open to compromise

Let go of your hopes of getting your way on everything. While you should certainly make your desires and points of view known, be respectful and open to the process. You might need to give up a certain asset or give a little more financial support than you desire. 

Mediation does not need to be scary. In fact, it is often much less intimidating than a court room. If you follow these three steps, you can enter mediation with a clear head and some confidence. 

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